Beijing accuses Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen of demanding equal ‘state-to-state’ treatment
- Beijing says her comments that Taiwan should not be ‘subordinate’ to the mainland had revived the doctrine first adopted by Taipei in 1999
- Tsai is reported to have played a prominent role in formulating the theory, which Beijing says cannot exist alongside the one-China principle
“Let us here renew with one another our enduring commitment to a free and democratic constitutional system, our commitment that the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China should not be subordinate to each other,” she said.
On Wednesday, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the mainland Taiwan Affairs Office said when asked about Tsai’s comments: “Both sides across the Taiwan Strait belong to one China and their relations are by no means ‘state-to-state’. The so-called ‘not subordinate to each other’ is the explicit rhetoric of the ‘two-state theory’.”
Taiwanese media reports have described Tsai as playing a leading role in formulating the theory, which was adopted by then-president Lee Teng-hui in 1999.
Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province and has never renounced the use of force to reunite it with the mainland.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says island 'will not bow' to mainland China
“Since 1949, although the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have not been completely reunified, the fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China has never changed and cannot be changed,” Ma said.
“We will never tolerate any act of Taiwan independence and will never allow Taiwan to split from China,” he said, adding that no one should underestimate China’s determination and ability to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
There has been a steady build-up of military activity in the waters and skies around Taiwan in recent years, with PLA warplanes entering its air defence identification zone 380 times last year, compared with 10 in 2019.
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All these sorties were in international airspace, but they raised fears that any misstep could provoke an unintended escalation in the region.
The purpose of the manoeuvres was to “fundamentally safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese nation and the vital interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” said Ma.
“The People’s Liberation Army exercises are necessary actions to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ma told reporters at a biweekly news conference in Beijing.